Business: Backbay Construction
In business since: 2009
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Doosan equipment: DX225LC-5 crawler excavator, DL220-5 wheel loader
Doosan dealer: Synergy Equipment
Veteran Florida contractor Bob Thesier was the boss. Now his son is his boss.
“That’s been told to me a number of times,” Bob jokes.
After his son, Mike, graduated from college, Bob told him not to follow in his footsteps. Bob had moved from Michigan to Florida and built a site clearing company, then sold it and retired.
“I told him, ‘No, you don’t want to get into the site business. It takes millions of dollars,’” Bob says, “It’s just a father-son thing to say, ‘Don’t do what I did.’ But my company did very well. And now he’s doing well.”
Mike had previously worked in his dad’s estimating department. He had the knowledge and a good list of industry contacts. Still, it was 2009, and the Florida economy was just beginning to recover from the Great Recession. Mike had to start his company, Backbay Construction, small.
“It was just myself and one helper doing a little bit of everything,” Mike says. “I had to do the estimates and the bookkeeping, answer the phones and be out in the field on the equipment. They were long days but it paid off over time.”
The population of Southwest Florida continued to grow and construction bounced back. Today, Mike has more than 30 employees and 50 pieces of construction equipment. Backbay Construction is a commercial site work and heavy highway road work contractor. They clear land, fill, grade, pave and curb, and do sidewalks, striping, signs and underground utilities, but do not build.
“Nothing vertical,” says Bob, who now works for Backbay Construction.
The company owns two Doosan® machines: a DX225LC-5 excavator and a DL220-5 wheel loader.
“They’re extremely versatile,” Mike says. “They’re not too big or too small. They work great, and they’re easy to transport on standard trucks and trailers.”
Synergy Equipment Territory Manager Mike Clementi introduced Mike Thesier to Doosan equipment. Synergy was Backbay Construction’s compact equipment dealer for other brands, and their customer service had always impressed the Thesiers.
“I don’t think we would have branched out to another brand of equipment if we didn’t have that great relationship,” Mike Thesier says. “We can pick up parts at either one of the Synergy locations locally. They’ll also bring them right here to the shop. Or they’ll take them out and meet our technicians in the field if need be. It’s kind of situation by situation, whatever we need.” Mike Thesier rented Doosan equipment from Synergy several times before purchasing his own machines.
“We got great feedback from our guys,” Mike says. “It was a little bit of a learning curve, but I think that there are a lot more features for operator comfort on the Doosan machines than our guys were used to with
our other machines.”
The positive response by the operators combined with Synergy’s customer service convinced Mike Thesier to take a chance on a new brand of equipment. Now that he owns two Doosan machines, the feature Mike Thesier says he most appreciates on them are the cameras.
“The cameras on the Doosan machines are an amazing feature for visibility and safety and allow the operators to be more cognizant and aware of their surroundings,” Mike says.
Bob is blown away by how machines have advanced since he retired.
“The technologies are just mind-boggling in the last 15 or 20 years,” Bob says. “Crazy. Instead of a lever to go from forward to reverse, it’s a little switch. I have run the new Doosan machines, and wow, the production is definitely higher.”
Bob says it takes him a minute to figure out how to turn on the Doosan® machines. “They don’t even have keys anymore,” he exclaims. But he appreciates what new technology, like DoosanCONNECT® Telematics, can do for a business.
“The error codes that they throw up: Boom.” Bob says. “It’s a warning that, ‘Hey something is going on.’ It prevents so many potential breakdowns. Mike Clementi can say, ‘Well, let me ping the machine real quick,’ and get on DoosanCONNECT Telematics. Bing, boom, okay, this is the problem with it.’ The technology is amazing.”
Mike Thesier says he plans to keep purchasing Doosan equipment from Synergy.
“It’s great equipment, and Synergy’s a great company,” he says.
When asked what’s in the future for Backbay Construction, Mike says he is just hoping for good, steady growth.
It’s the kind of answer his dad would give.
“If you grow too fast or too much, you aren’t going to be able to take care of your employees,” Bob says. “You’re not going to be able to take care of your customers, because you’ve overstretched yourself. Know your limits, stay within them and control your growth. It’s still a people industry. Take care of the people that
take care of you.”
It’s just a father-son thing to say, ‘Don’t do what I did.’ But my company did very well. And now he’s doing well.
I think that there are a lot more features for operator comfort on the Doosan machines than our guys were used to with our other machines.
BACKBAY CONSTRUCTION’S DOOSAN MACHINES IN ACTION
In January 2021, Backbay Construction was awarded a project to demolish a fast food restaurant to make way for a new retail bank branch in Fort Myers.
Backbay Construction paired a Doosan® DX225LC-5 crawler excavator with a DL220-5 wheel loader to handle the demo. A third machine — a compact track loader — also assisted with some of the demolition tasks, particularly in tight spaces on the jobsite.
The building demolition took less than a week. Several trees along the edge of the property also needed to be removed. Backbay Construction brought in its excavator — paired with a bucket and
thumb — to help with the task.
“The Doosan excavator is a versatile machine,” Mike says. “We use it for a lot more than excavation. The thumb is integral to keep things safe when we’re taking down trees or doing demolition to be able to grasp whatever we’re working with.”.